Jacob Margolis

Science Reporter

Contact Jacob Margolis

From the consequences of climate change to the next Big One, the threat of another natural disaster is never far away. I help Southern Californians understand the science shaping our imperfect paradise and get them prepared for what’s next.

Stories by Jacob Margolis

How an earthquake in Alaska made a wave of water in Death Valley

Fifteen minutes after a 7.9 earthquake struck the Gulf of Alaska, Devil's Hole in Death Valley saw one foot waves thrash its surface.

Snow is melting faster in the Rockies because of how dusty it is

Dust has a far worse impact than rising air temperatures on the snowmelt rate — a problem that could eventually undercut water supplies in Southern California.

A universal flu vaccine? Researchers are giving it a shot

Imagine if you could get a series of shots that would keep you from ever getting the flu. It turns out that scenario might not be far from reality.

Did the Thomas fire contaminate the ocean? Ask the algae

As communities continue to reel from the Thomas fire and devastating mudslides, scientists are trying to understand the impact that both are having on coastal ecosystems.

What's that flying over Los Angeles? A SpaceX rocket

Social media lit up with posts about a mysterious object flying through the skies above L.A. Was it a UFO? A chemtrail? Superman?

SoCal gets reprieve from Santa Ana winds

But we're expected to stay dry with above average temperatures through the new year.

'Year of extremes': SoCal rides climate coaster in 2017

Deluge early on gives way to record-hot summer and searing, bone-dry fall that left SoCal a tinder box — set aflame by a record-stretch of high winds.

California has had a monster wildfire every year for the past 6 years

Nearly three-quarters of the state's worst fires have happened since 2000. Experts blame forest management techniques, home construction in wilderness and climate change.

The invasive, flammable plants making California's fires worse

The hills of Southern California are lined with invasive grasses, which after a hot, dry year, were ready to ignite with a spark.

Southern California is burning. Is climate change to blame?

Scientists say a warming planet is likely to exacerbate the factors that led to this week's firestorms.

Weed, you and 2018

You'll need to be at least 21 to buy it. Don't smoke it in public. And definitely don't give it to a minor. Everything you need to know about the legalization of recreational marijuana in California.

He was prosecuted for selling weed. Now he wants to be the McDonald's of pot

Virgil Grant started in the marijuana industry by wholesaling suitcases full of marijuana to people in Compton. Now, three decades on, he wants to run the L.A. market.

How well does Larry Mantle know pot?

We quizzed him in preparation for the rise of the recreational marijuana business in California.

LA's weather will be hot and dry — just like your Thanksgiving turkey

Gobble gobble GASP! We could see record heat on Thanksgiving, thanks in part to two high pressure systems.

This fly dives into Mono Lake, but doesn't get wet

Now scientists have figured out how the fly stays dry even though it can stay submerged for 15 minutes. Yet another otherworldly aspect of Mono Lake.